Magnolia Bakery Red Velvet Cupcakes

Moving out of home has its perks, but it also means that there are fewer people in the household to eat the products of my baking. Sure, Sir D and I could (and would!) eat a whole chocolate cake to ourselves but in the interests of our blood sugar levels and waistlines, I’ve been baking less than I used to.

So I do love it when there’s an occasion to bake for and I can make a giant cake or 30-odd cupcakes for people to enjoy. It was L’s birthday and a while back I had received one of the Magnolia Bakery cookbooks as a gift from L, but a year later still hadn’t baked anything from it! It seemed only fitting to bake some Magnolia Bakery Red Velvet cake for his birthday.

The recipe in the cookbook is for a tiered 9-inch cake, but I decided to make cupcakes instead. Instead of the Creamy Vanilla icing that was recommended with the cake, I decided to go with Magnolia Bakery’s cream cheese frosting. I tried to do the iconic Magnolia Bakery frosting swirl, but the frosting was a bit too soft and it was getting late so I kinda just did what I could with it. Not that it really mattered anyway because the cupcakes went down a treat!

Magnolia Bakery Red Velvet Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from More From Magnolia: Recipes From The World-Famous Bakery and Magnolia’s Home Kitchen

For the cupcakes
1 1/2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups caster sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tbsp red food coloring*
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

For the frosting
500g cream cheese
6 tbsp butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups sifted icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line your cupcake tins with cupcake liners.

2. Sift the flour and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.

3. In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

4. Divide the batter into the cupcake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in to the cake comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and set on a wire rack to cool.

5. To make the icing, beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time**, beating continuously until smooth and creamy. Cover and refrigerate icing for 2-3 hours, but no longer, to thicken before using. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes before serving***.

*I thought that was a scary amount of food colouring so I used 3 tbsp of colouring and 3 tbsp water)
**I didn’t end up using all of the sugar – I just tasted it while I was adding it until I was happy with the taste
***I had heaps of icing leftover and in hindsight, I could have probably halved the amount of icing and still had enough.

15 thoughts on “Magnolia Bakery Red Velvet Cupcakes”

  1. These look gorgeous! I’ve tried the magnolia swirl but no luck – I find it’s way too much icing for my liking anyways.

    I too reduce sugar where I can, and yes the amount of food colouring scares me too. I think at most I only ever use 10-15mL and I find that’s sufficient enough!

  2. I’m with Suze. If you need to offload baked goods. Holla….

    If you are freaked out about using a lot of food colouring, I highly recommend using the gels (I love the brand Americolor (it’s also GF)). I used a scary amount of black liquid food colouring when I made the Wanderers cake because I didn’t have the gel colouring.

    You make me crave red velvet now

  3. Ha! That’s why I don’t bake at home. Because I end up eating far too much of it. Here, it goes like *snaps fingers* that! But that red velvet looks awesome. Damn, I should’ve gotten the recipe off you when I was making the heart cake..

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